i am the good little housewife. i am full of being busy and washing and baking, hands in constant motion, tracing with the fingertip a bit of stray dirt off the table and picking leaves dragged in, off the carpet. i am good and i am productive. i merit the donna reed badge of self-worth for being so devoted and careful to take those steps necessary for domestic tranquility. and still, somewhere far away, a liver has failed and a brain is bleeding, taking with it mi familia. my devotion to my household does not stave off death for those damaged by alcohol, by years of lone star in cans and one singular concussion, one kiss of asphalt and forehead. when i was quite small my grandfather shot a rattlesnake that was eating his chicks. everyone rushed outside to see the snake held high in his hand with two round lumps near the head, two chicks swallowed whole. my grandfather wore a cowboy hat and cowboy boots everyday and a big metal belt buckle. living in texas requires such attire. even for chicanos. when i was twelve my grandfather made me sing "somewhere over the rainbow" for him. when i was four my grandfather was yelling at one of my aunt's cats, kicking it out of the house and i said, "now be nice grandpa, be nice." my grandmother tells this story every time i see her. my grandfather has a giant grill in his backyard that looks like a well. my grandfather owns seven acres of land with five massive oak trees with spanish moss hanging all over. my grandfather collects old metal signs which he covers his barn with. my grandfather will die soon. i will miss him.

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